Get ready to Spend a Summer Day

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Ahhh, the end of the school year is near! We know you are so busy with your end-of-year commitments that you may not even have time to think about what comes after, but let us remind you: SUMMER VACATION!

We know that students’ summer plans are full of many things–work, practice, volunteering, vacations, and … college visits. As you are looking at your calendar, deciding where you might have time to fit in a college visit, think about Spend a Summer Day at Penn State!

Spend a Summer Day is the open house visit program for prospective students, with events happening at all 20 of Penn State’s campuses throughout the summer. At these events, you will get to tour campus and learn about academics, club and organizations, and so much more! Please visit to check our schedule and to register for Spend a Summer Day!

We encourage you to visit multiple Penn State campuses this summer to learn more about each campus, as each are unique in size, location, and offerings. Should you be interested in attending Spend a Summer Day at University Park, the event dates are as follows:

  • Friday, July 24 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Monday, July 27 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, July 30 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Friday, July 31 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Monday, August 3 at 8:00 a.m.

Wherever your summer plans may take you, we hope it includes a visit to Penn State for Spend a Summer Day! But rest assured–if the above dates don’t work for you, visit our website to schedule a visit to campus on another day.

Best of luck with the end of your school year–you are in the home stretch!

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Penn State Class of 2019 – You have big shoes to fill


Penn State is buzzing with soon-to-be graduates that are soaking up their last few moments of college life while looking ahead to careers, research opportunities, or graduate school. Much like you Penn State Class of 2019, our Penn State seniors have a lot to look forward to as they embark on a new chapter of their lives.

But before we send our seniors across the stage, here are just a few of Penn State’s Class of 2015 accomplishments:

$45.8 Million: The Penn State Class of 2015 helped raise over $45.8 million for THON over their four years at Penn State.

13,381 Diplomas: This weekend, Penn State expects to award approximately 13,381 diplomas to students University-wide who are completing 433 associate, 10,916 baccalaureate, 1,437 master’s, 202 law, 262 doctoral and 131 medical degrees.

Go Green: The Class of 2015’s gift will by a solar panel array to help Penn State reach its goal to reduce building energy use by 20 percent over the next decade.

450 Scholars: Schreyer Honors College will graduate more than 450 scholars. Scholar Katherine Rhodes will speak at the college’s commencement ceremony with the highest grade point average among the college’s spring graduates.

Six NCAA National Team Championships: Wrestling, women’s volleyball, and fencing hoisted a national championship trophy during the Penn State Class of 2015’s tenure. Wrestling won the NCAA crown in 2012, 2013, and 2014, while women’s volleyball captured the 2013 and 2014 title, and fencing won the 2014 national title.

So #PSU2019, what will you accomplish at Penn State?

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#ReachHigher #PSU2019 – Friday is National College Signing Day!





As part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher campaign, an educational initiative working to inspire every student in America to pursue education after high school, we want you to show the WORLD that you’re joining the Penn State family on Friday, because it’s National College Signing Day!

Snap a picture of you sporting your Penn State gear and holding one of our custom Penn State signs (download above) and post it on Twitter and/or Instagram.

Better yet, shoot a quick video and tell us why you chose Penn State to help you reach higher in your education. Be sure to include #ReachHigher and #PSU2019 in your post.

We’re going to be celebrating your Penn State choice all day long right here with a gallery of YOUR photos and we will also be sharing them via our Twitter and Instagram.

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DEADLINE: May 1 is National College Decision Day

May 1 Decision DayWe’re only a few short days away from May 1, the national deadline for you to let us know where you’ll be attending college next year. Fingers crossed you pick Penn State!

Choosing a college is a HUGE decision, and being nervous that you’re making the right choice is completely understandable. Here are some reasons why you should click that big red “click here to accept your offer of admission” button in your MyPennState account:

  1. 631,000 Alumni – Yep, that’s a big alumni network, and the Penn State Alumni Association is the largest in the country with over 174,000 members. This network will certainly help when it comes time to look for an internship and/or job. LEARN MORE
  2. Career Services – Speaking of job search, the Penn State Career Services Office ranks amongst the top five in the nation and hosts some of the largest career fairs on the East Coast. LEARN MORE
  3. Research – $800 million flows into the University for research annually, and undergraduate students are highly encouraged across all disciplines to get involved. RESEARCH NEWS
  4. 1,200 Clubs & Organizations – With so many organizations and clubs to be a part of, you’ll never be bored! Oh, and Penn State’s THON is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Just this year, THON raised over $13 million in the fight against pediatric cancer. WATCH
  5. 160+ majors – With over 160 majors to choose from, you’re guaranteed to the find the major that fits you, and the best part is you won’t have to figure it out alone. Every Penn State student is assigned an academic adviser to help them navigate their academic careers. LIST OF MAJORS

Not quite convinced? Read these testimonials from the PSU Admissions Social Media Interns:

Nicole Schneidman shared why she chose to be a Nittany Lion.

Niccia Griffin-McKinney shared her experience as a 2+2 student starting at Mont Alto and finishing her degree at University Park.

Sophia Fox shared what it was like for her picking between three colleges.

Yarianne Marie Aquino shared her experiences transitioning from Puerto Rico to University Park.

If you accept your Penn State offer, share your excitement with us using #psu2019 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! If you feel like you need some more time to make your college decision contact us at

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Plan Your Blue-White Weekend!

Photo Credit: Penn State Athletics

Photo Credit: Penn State Athletics

Come spend April 17-19 at Penn State, just don’t forget to wear your blue and white, because it’s BLUE-WHITE WEEKEND!

Blue-White Weekend, an annual Penn State celebration centered on Penn State football’s Blue-White Game presented by AAA, will be held from April 17-19. Festivities, such as Penn State football’s game day Totino’s Fan Festival, Blue-White Family Fun Zone, and the 6th Annual Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run/Walk, are scheduled throughout the weekend and promise to give all attendees the opportunity to have some fun while showing off their Penn State pride. Full event schedule

To get a jump-start on planning your weekend trip to PSU, visit for a complete overview of State College’s accommodations, restaurants and activities.

Blue-White Game – Saturday, April 18:

Admission and parking for the Blue-White Game presented by AAA is FREE.

Penn State quaterback Christian Hackenberg signs autographs at the 2014 Blue-White Game

Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg signs autographs at the 2014 Blue-White Game – Photo Credit: Penn State Athletics

  • 12:45 p.m. – Team blue bus arrival to Beaver Stadium at the corner of Curtin and Porter Roads.
  • 1:15-2 p.m. – Team autograph session in Beaver Stadium. The athletes will be permitted to sign one item per person to give as many fans the opportunity to meet the players.
  • 4:00 p.m. – Kickoff

Beaver Stadium gates A & B open at 1 p.m. and all other gates open at 2:30 p.m.

Last year, an estimated 72,000 fans attend the Blue-White Game! The Blue-White Game has drawn more than 50,000 fans in six of the past eight years, including three consecutive crowds above 70,000!

What else is going on?

Friday – April 17

  • Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra – Old Main Lawn – 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy the beautiful sounds of this ninety-member philharmonic orchestra that has performed throughout the northeastern United States, including concerts at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and the MENC Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore. Learn more

  • Penn State School of Theatre Performance of Julius Caesar – Old Main Lawn – 7:45 p.m.

Staged on the steps of Old Main, this production will be set in a contemporary African nation (“Rome”) in order to draw parallels between modern African dictatorships and Shakespeare’s Roman Republic of 44 B.C. under the dictatorship of Julius Caesar. Learn more

Saturday – April 18

  • Blue-White Family Fun Zone – Holuba Hall – 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

This event is FREE and open to the public. The Family Fun Zone features live entertainment, food and beverages, merchandise, game stations run by Penn State teams, and much more!

  • Totino’s Fan Festival – Curtin Road – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Penn State football’s official game day fan festival features numerous displays, vendors and interactive events for kids.

Sunday – April 19

  • Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run/Walk – Start: BJC End: 50-yardline Beaver Stadium – 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

In its sixth year, the Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run/Walk benefits Special Olympics Pennsylvania. It is a three mile run and one mile walk open to all ages and abilities. More than 4,000 people participated last year to help raise more than $400,000! Sign up

  • Ellen Perry Speaker Series: Women In Sport – The Modern Years – Nittany Lion Inn – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Penn State All-Sports Museum, the Women In Sport – The Modern Years discussion will center on women working and participating in athletics.


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Welcoming #psu2019

The months of March and April are some of the most exciting for us here in Undergraduate Admissions as we hear from students who are accepting their offers of admission. We are holding accepted student programs at all of our campuses and at locations around the U.S., and talking with thousands of families as they weigh their options leading up to the May 1 national acceptance deadline.

Along the way, we have seen some great photos from students who will be joining Penn State’s Class of 2019.  Are you as excited as these students about becoming a Penn Stater? Share your photos with us using the hashtag #psu2019!

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Penn State in Hong Kong

While some Penn Staters spent spring  break on the beach or relaxing at home, a group of students from the College of Communications traveled to Hong Kong as part of an international reporting class.

While there, they met with college students and faculty, and tackled issues like public

Penn State journalism student John Stuetz working on a story about the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, where voter rights are being eroded by the mainland Chinese government.

Penn State journalism student John Stuetz working on a story about the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, where voter rights are being eroded by the mainland Chinese government.

housing and senior citizen suicides. This is a great example of ways that Penn State students are able to learn outside of the classroom and apply what they learn in real-world settings.

Visit the ComMedia blog for a full report from Hong Kong.

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All About New Student Orientation

As we get closer to May 1, more and more students are accepting their offers of admission and beginning the New Student Orientation process. Here’s what you can expect from NSO:

  1. When you accept your offer of admission, the NSO office will send you an email with more information about completing your Educational Planning Survey and ALEKS Math Assessment. Though it might seem scary to take a test before you even begin college, please know that your results will have no impact on your academic record as a student. Instead, we use the results of the math assessment to help you schedule the best courses for your first semester. It is very important that you complete these two things before you come so you can truly benefit from speaking to your adviser while at NSO.
  2. Once the planning survey and math assessment are complete, you receive a nso_blackpostcard outlining your next steps in the process. If you are a University Park student, your postcard will indicate your assigned NSO date. If you are starting at another campus, your postcard will have instructions on how to register for NSO at your campus. Note that the registration process may vary slightly from campus to campus.

Okay! You’ve completed all of those things, now what? Well, now you come to campus!

New Student Orientation is a two-day experience at University Park, and one day at the other locations. Since the program can be different at each campus, I won’t go into too much detail, but the general things you can expect are:

  • Meeting a lot of really cool people and starting to build your network of friends at Penn State
  • Talking to an academic adviser about your career plans
  • Taking care of basic things like getting your ID card and learning where to ask for what
  • Getting a glimpse of what your life will be like
  • Learning about Penn State and your campus

The New Student Orientation office is also planning special programs for transfer students and adult learner/veteran students this summer. These one-day programs are specific to the needs of these groups and designed to help facilitate the transition into Penn State. Please visit the NSO website for more information.

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Applying for Financial Aid

With admission decisions on the streets for summer and fall 2015, now is a great time to think about financial aid. Our colleagues in the Office of Student Aid took the time to put together some helpful hints for navigating what can be a complex process:

To apply for most financial aid at Penn State, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only application you need to submit. For maximum consideration of financial aid, the Office of Student Aid recommends that you submit your FAFSA by March 1, 2015, if you are a new student to Penn State.

May 1 is the deadline for Pennsylvania residents who are interested in applying for the Pennsylvania State Grant. If you are a resident of a state other than Pennsylvania, please verify if you are eligible for a state grant and what your deadline is with your own state grant agency.

Some private scholarships and Penn State scholarships require separate applications. You can visit the scholarships section of our website for information about those programs.

Submitting the FAFSA

We HIGHLY recommend that you and/or your parents use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to view and securely transfer your federal tax information directly from the IRS to your FAFSA to save time and increase the accuracy of the FAFSA.

Your federal tax information will be available for transfer within three weeks if you file your federal tax returns electronically and within eight weeks if you file your paper returns via U.S. mail.

You should not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you and/or your parents did any one of the following:

  • Filed an amended 2014 federal tax return (1040X)
  • Did not file a 2014 federal tax return
  • Are married but filed separately
  • Are separated from your spouse but filed jointly
  • Filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return

If you submit your FAFSA prior to filing your federal tax return, you may use estimated tax information or manually enter your tax information. However, once you have filed your taxes, we recommend you update your FAFSA either by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or actual final tax figures.

If Penn State receives your FAFSA by March 1, 2015, you will receive an email notification in late March. The email will provide instructions on how to view your Student Aid Summary online.

Requirements and Verification

To complete the FAFSA, you and/or your parents will need to:

  • Enter your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security card (include suffixes and your middle name/initial)
  • Enter your Social Security number
  • Provide your parent(s) name and social security number exactly as it appears on their Social Security card (including suffixes and middle name/initial).
  • Provide your valid driver’s license number (if you have one)
  • Enter your date of birth
  • Provide your alien registration number, for eligible non-citizens
  • Mark your individual status information (marital status, veteran, etc.)
  • Supply 2014 federal tax information, including adjusted gross income, earnings from work, income tax paid, etc.
  • Insert Penn State’s federal school code: 003329

We may be required to contact you to request documentation or have you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to verify your FAFSA information. Please respond quickly to any and all requests by the Office of Student Aid to ensure timely disbursement of your student aid.

We know this is new territory for many families and look forward to helping you as you determine how to invest in a Penn State education.

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Intern Post: THON 101

Penn State’s Dance Marathon, better known as THON, is just a few days away! This weekend, thousands of students will fill the Bryce Jordan Center to spend 46 hours on their feet in support of pediatric cancer research through the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey. THON weekend is the culmination of a year of fundraising that last year resulted in more than $13 million being raised, making the event the world’s largest student-run philanthropy.

Why would anyone want to spend 46 hours on their feet? How do they raise all that money? Social media intern Sophia breaks down the basics of THON on the Penn State Lion Life blog:

As Penn State students, we pride ourselves in a few things: our football team, our school spirit, having stellar academics and THON. For those who don’t know, THON is the largest student run philanthropy in the world that raises millions of dollars for kids with pediatric cancer every year and as of today, is only 10 days away! Intrigued to learn more? Then keep reading for a guide on how Penn State has, and continues, to change the lives of hundreds of kids.

The view from the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend.

The view from the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend.


What: The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or more popularly known as THON, is a yearlong effort to raise funds for families that have been affected by pediatric cancer.

Why: THON was originally started by a group of students in 1973 that proposed the idea of a dance marathon to raise money for a needy cause. That year, 78 dancers danced for 30 hours and raised $2,000. Since then, THON has evolved into the longest dance marathon in the country, engages 15,000 students each year and has raised more than $101 million in hopes of conquering pediatric cancer.

The Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend.

The Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend.

When: After a year of raising money, Penn State students gather in the Bryce Jordan Center for one weekend in February to dance for 46 and to cap off the fundraising year. Yes, 46 hours straight. THON weekend begins at 6 p.m. Friday night and ends at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

How: To truly appreciate the life-changing experience of THON, it is best to understand the basics of how this extensive event is put on.

  • The Volunteers: Each year, 15,000 students volunteer to be the heart and soul of THON.
    • Executive Director: Just like the title sounds, the executive director is THON’s fearless leader who oversees the 15 committees and chooses the executive committee.
    • Executive Committee: For each of the 15 committees, there is one chairperson who chooses the Captains and reports back to the Executive Director.
    • Captains: Chosen by the Executive Committee, captains are in charge of committee members and assisting in the planning of THON weekend.
    • Committees: Chosen and lead by the captains, committee members make up 3,400 of the volunteers. A committee member can be involved in 1 of the 15 committees which include: Communications, Donor and Alumni Relations, Entertainment, Family Relations, Finance, Hospitality, Merchandise, Dancer Relations, Rules and Regulations Event Safety, Rules and Regulations Volunteers Safety, Special Events, Supply Logistics, and Technology.

      The THON Hospitality Committee during THON weekend.

      The THON Hospitality Committee during THON weekend.

    • Organizations (Orgs): To be an org your organization must be recognized by Penn State in order to participate in THON. Orgs range from Greek life to Commonwealth campuses to almost any club. Orgs are a great way to get involved with THON!
    • The Fundraising: Fundraising for THON is a long and rewarding process. These are just a few common ways you can help the fundraising effort:
    • Canning Weekends: Formally known as canister solicitation weekends, occur
      Students posting for a picture during a THON canning weekend.

      Sophia (left) during a THON canning weekend.

      over 3 weekends during the fall semester. THON volunteers travel near and far to stand outside stores and on sidewalks with specially marked cans to raise money for the cure.

    • ThONvelopes: Sending THONvelopes is one of the easiest ways to raise money. Just like the name says, family and friends receive envelopes explaining the cause and can easily send them back with their donations.
    • Alternative Fundraising: If you have ever taken a stroll through the HUB and saw and organization selling an item and giving the profits to THON, you have seen an alternative fundraiser. It is any fundraiser that is not canning, corporate, mail, online or pledge solicitation. They can be as fun and creative as you want!

Of course, this is just the break down of the bare minimum of THON. For more information, to learn how to make a donation and to watch the 46-hour live stream during THON weekend visit


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